As more students in Indiana pursue a college education, applying for general scholarships or scholarships specific to Indiana can help offset tuition costs. Student debt continues to be a national issue in America, affecting every state differently. Looking for more specific financial opportunities, such as scholarships in Indiana, may help you increase your chances of winning a scholarship.
New scholarships are created each day on Bold.org for different demographics, and the number of opportunities by state or region is always increasing. Applying for both general scholarships, and specific scholarships that target certain majors, grade levels, demographics, or skills can help you finance your college education, reducing your need for loans.
In Indiana, the average borrower owes $30,661, which is about $6,000 less than the national average. Though Indiana may have less overall debt than other states, a majority of Indiana students still borrow money for university annually— 60%, to be exact.
As of the 2020-2021 school year, there were 423,379 students enrolled in college in Indiana, with 343,833 pursuing undergraduate degrees. Additionally, 65% of undergraduate students and 60% of graduate scholars were enrolled full-time. 52% of Indiana university attendees enroll at a public four-year college, and 21% enroll at two-year public institutions.
The majority of the college students in Indiana are white, making up 66% of the undergraduate and graduate population. 9.8% of college students in Indiana are African American, representing the second-largest group of scholars by ethnicity. Hispanic and Asian students each make up less than 9% of the student population.
Income levels can also affect the performance of high school seniors and university students. 15.2% of children in Indiana grow up in poverty. Of the low-income student population, only 35% attend college, while 64% of higher-income students attend college.
Location is another factor in underrepresented groups attending university: data shows that students from rural areas are less likely to attend university. Just 46% of Caucasian men in rural areas attend college, and only 37% of Hispanic men go to college after completing high school.
65% of women that graduate high school pursue higher education, but only 51% of men that graduate attend college. This is another area where location may play a role; living in rural areas seems to affect male students more than females.
How students perform in high school may indicate how they will perform in college or university. Carmel High School, one of Indiana’s largest public schools, had a high school graduating class of 1,322 students. Research suggests earning an academic honors diploma is an indicator of a better performance in college. On average, 36% of seniors in Indiana graduate with academic honors.
However, only 26% of Hispanic students earn academic honors, and just 17% of African American students or 14% of low-income students earn academic honors. This may contribute to the underrepresentation of these groups in the university population in Indiana overall, and speak to the need for more equal learning opportunities statewide.
At Indiana State University, the average cost of undergraduate tuition is $20,570, but only $9,466 for in-state residents. This is quite a hefty incentive for students who permanently reside in Indiana seeking higher education to remain in Indiana for their college education.
In addition, 63% of undergraduate students at Indiana University Bloomington received aid for their financial needs through grants and scholarships.
Some of the most popular bachelor’s degrees at Hoosier State are in business, healthcare, and the social sciences.
Another popular accredited college in Indiana, Purdue University, also provides a discount for scholars looking to attend school as legal residents of the state. The in-state cost for an undergraduate Indiana resident is $22,922, while the out-of-state cost is $41,724. Out of the first-year undergraduate students, 41% received financial aid. The average financial aid received per person is $6,773.
Nursing remains a popular field of interest for Hoosier students and healthcare majors statewide. Consider applying to some of the following opportunities to help you pay for your medical degree:
Some students display creative promise in visual arts, graphic design, and other artistic fields. If this applies to you, applying to these scholarships may help you pursue your dreams.
You can start applying for Indiana scholarships and general scholarships even before you apply to college, or commit to your college. Below are some scholarships for graduating high school seniors:
Aside from applying to Indiana scholarships and other niche scholarships, don't forget to apply for general opportunities as well. Some students haven’t committed to a specialized area of study, or are pursuing a more general major. Here are some broad scholarships:
Finding the right scholarships can be a daunting task, but sites like Bold.org help make this process much easier for applicants. Start by making a free profile with Bold.org by answering some basic questions about your background, education level, and interests. Your location might also qualify you for certain opportunities; Indiana scholarships are exclusively available to those living in Indiana, and so on.
Once you’re registered, hundreds of scholarships are available at the click of a button. Bookmarking scholarships you’re interested in and filtering your scholarship searches by grade level or area of interest are two tools that can help you keep track of your options.
You can apply to many of these scholarships simply by pressing a button. Others will require a short written statement. Apply to as many scholarships as you see fit, and keep in mind that applying to more scholarships will increase your chances of winning.
Remember to continue to apply to new scholarships throughout your journey as a student, as new scholarships are added every day. Categories you’re interested in, like scholarships for art majors or Indiana scholarships, will continue to grow as new opportunities are created.
The application process is designed to be as easy as possible. Each scholarship’s description will state what you need to do to apply in a straightforward manner. Any qualifications, such as living in a particular state, will be listed as well so that you can quickly decide if a scholarship is right for you.
The main difference is that scholarships are a form of gift aid and do not need to be paid back. Essentially, it’s free money intended to be used for your tuition and other costs associated with pursuing higher education.
In addition, scholarships are typically funded by independent donors, companies, or educational organizations as opposed to banks. These organizations create scholarships to financially support certain demographics or academic majors through university.
Some scholarships are general scholarships open to all students, such as the Bold Challenge Yourself scholarship. These scholarships have minimal restrictions and many don’t even require essays. No-essay scholarships are great opportunities when you're short on time, but are often the most competitive due to the high volume of applicants. You can find more no-essay scholarship opportunities here.
Some scholarships are more restricted and are only open to high school seniors, or only open to undergraduate students, and so on. Some scholarships take financial need into account and restrict by your family income.
Alternatively, scholarships can be restricted by major— you must be studying a certain topic to apply. For example, the Coding for Minorities scholarship is only open to applicants that identify as a member of a minority ethnic group and are interested in studying computer science. Students must examine their academic interests and apply accordingly for scholarships restricted by major.
Your cumulative GPA and academic standing may also factor into which scholarships you are eligible to apply for. Certain scholarships select winners based on their academic excellence and may require a minimum GPA to be considered. You may also need to maintain a minimum GPA to receive the award, so it’s important to remain in good standing academically as you apply for scholarships.
Activities outside of the classroom, such as volunteer experience, local community service, or extracurricular professional activities may also qualify you for certain scholarships. There are opportunities for those interested in niche fields, such as performing arts or other hobbies.
You may even be able to find scholarships that use multiple qualifiers to narrow the field of applicants, like scholarships in Indiana only open to high school seniors interested in coding. Scholarships like these significantly lower your competition if you are eligible to apply.
There are pros and cons to applying to both general and specialized scholarships. General, no-essay scholarships are easier to apply for, but also attract higher amounts of applicants, making the competition more significant.
Specialized scholarships may decrease your competition, but will likely require a personal statement. In addition, you will only be eligible for these based on your background and personal interests.
To put it simply, check the requirements for each of the scholarships you’re interested in and apply if you match the applicant description.
Most scholarships are open to graduating seniors and undergraduate students. There are also scholarships open to juniors, as well as graduate students, and even those who have just graduated and are entering the workforce.
The costs of higher education can be steep but applying as early as your junior year can give you a head start on meeting your financial needs for college. Though most scholarships are targeted towards seniors or undergraduate students, you can apply earlier if you are in good academic standing.
There’s no right or wrong time to find scholarships you’re eligible to apply for, and it’s never too early or too late to apply.
However, it is important to look at the application deadlines for the scholarships you’re considering. Some scholarships are awarded annually and only open for a few months, while others are one-time events. Make sure you apply before the application deadline listed in order to be considered.
Each scholarship will have a different set of requirements. These requirements might be grade level, income status, family background, or academic interest.
The donor will then select a winner from the qualified applicants. They might narrow down the scholarship finalists by requiring you to write an essay for the scholarship and choosing the essay that resonates with them the most. Alternatively, the donor might choose a winner randomly from the pool of eligible applicants.
How you receive your scholarship winnings will depend on the scholarship you applied for. Some scholarships will opt to send the money to the financial aid office of the institution you’ve committed to. This means you won’t have full control over how the money is spent by your school’s financial aid office, but this guarantees your scholarship funds will be used automatically for tuition charges.
If you have questions about how the money is being used, reach out to your school's admissions office directly.
Certain scholarships might send you a check through the mail directly, allowing you to decide exactly how to spend the money. This information can often be found in the scholarship description. You can always get in contact with the scholarship donor and ask about how the money will be sent to you if you need more information.
Typically, the answer is no; scholarships are not counted in income tax.
Scholarships are not taxed as long as the following criteria are met: 1) The money you received from your scholarship is less than the total amount your institution costs, 2) you are completing a degree at an accredited school, 3) the money is not compensation for a task or job you completed, and 4) the money is not labeled for other costs like room and board.
To make sure your scholarship isn’t taxed, only use your scholarship money for qualified education expenses. Under IRS guidelines, qualified education expenses mean mandatory course expenses, such as textbooks, and mandatory tuition costs.
Expenses such as room and board or travel costs are not counted as qualified education expenses. However, most accredited colleges or donors will not dictate that you use your money for room and board or other specific expenses.
In the event that you receive more scholarship money than you need, you don’t necessarily need to turn down the money. However, you must now report the extra funds in your taxes.
Any scholarships won through Bold.org will be sent directly to your college or university's financial aid office and are then applied directly to your education expenses, meaning Bold.org scholarships are not taxable income.